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28. In Or Outside The Box: Is it the Codec or the Network?  11/30/12 by Dave Immer

I have noticed in some blogs a tendency to intermingle codec problems with network quirks.

For instance, Source-Connect is an excellent piece of software that delivers very good audio using the AAC algorithm. When the network over which it is running is up to the task, results are satisfying. But a user expecting to get an “ISDN experience” from it when their  internet service is experiencing packet collisions, jitter and bursty or slow performance, may have a tendency to associate such behavior with the software codec itself when that is not the case.

Another example would be the Telos Zephyr. Being as the Zephyr is immensely popular and has emerged as the standard ISDN codec (in the US,) people tend to co-mingle it’s behavior in their minds with the ISDN line to which it is connected. While the Zephyr is a well designed, user friendly box, it can be unstable compared to other major brands. The characteristics of such a “standard” codec might be perceived as the nature of ISDN itself, which, again, is not necessarily so.

Certainly troubleshooting is inevitable with any unit. And unless you have the option of substituting alternate equipment, networks or software, it’s way harder to arrive at a clear understanding of the problem(s.) So:
1. Rent one or ask a colleague  if you can borrow their codec and try it on your line.
2. Take your codec over to a colleague’s network and try it on their line.
3. Involve a third party like the Digifon Bridge to make test connections.
This way you can at least determine if the issue is in or outside the box (or both!)

Let me know if you have comments about this.                   Thanks,

Dave